Update from 500th Anniversary Committee

500th_anniv_logoCall to Preach

As Women and Men of the Order of St. Dominic, we are invited to participate in the request to preach on the fourth Sunday of Advent, 2011 to commemorate the sermon preached by Antonio Montesinos on Espanola:

From the General Chapter of Rome, 2010
V Centenary of Montesinos’ Sermon
171. [Petitio] We petition the brothers of the whole Order that on the 4th Sunday of Advent 2011 there be read or preached in all the churches connected with the Order the sermon preached by Antonio de Montesinos on Española on the 4th Sunday of advent 1511, so that it might be a collective commemoration of this act, which defended human dignity in the name of the Church. (General Chapter of Rome, 2010)

Controversy of Valladolid: Opportunity to Schedule Performance

After Europeans invaded the land, destroyed the culture, plundered natural resources and subjected thousands of people to servitude, torture and death, the church agonized over its question of the indigenous peoples: Are they human? Are they children of God? Based on a Spanish Papal Tribunal of 1550, this drama reveals the fate of millions of American natives by bringing to light the real-life debates whose outcomes are still felt today.

The Alma College (Alma, Michigan) Drama Department is willing to perform “The Controversy of Valladolid” at your motherhouse or college during the months of January through March 2012. To schedule this event, contact: Dr. Dana Aspinall, e-mail aspinall@alma.edu or call 989-463-7269.

For copies of the play “The Controversy of Valladolid,” by Jean-Claude Carriere, English version by Richard Nelson, 1992. Contact info: Dramatists Play Service, 440 Park Ave. South, NYC 10016, www.dramatists.com.

Webcast Nov. 21

As members of the Dominican Family in the Americas, we will begin to commemorate this important anniversary through a webcast on Monday, Nov. 21, 2011 at 8 p.m. EST (7 p.m. CST). The program will focus on the past and present issues challenging the Dominican Family in America. Webcast will include: Rev. James Barnett as Fr. Montesinos, Panel of Preachers: Marcelline Koch, OP, Margaret Mayce, OP and Chuck Dahm, OP with presentation by Toni Harris, OP. This presentation will be available for downloading as well as converted into DVDs.

If you have a high-speed Internet connection, you can join the Dominican Family at the anniversary event as it will be streamed live from Sinsinawa Mound. To do so, click on one of the following links (or copy and paste it into your browser’s address line) at 7 p.m. (Central Time) Monday, Nov. 21.

or http://www.ustream.tv/user/sinsinawa

(Note: You might have to “refresh” the page by hitting your “F5” key if you are on the page after 7 p.m. and not seeing or hearing the live video stream. You might also have to view a short commercial before the live stream appears.)

This broadcasts will be archived at http://www.ustream.tv/user/sinsinawa/videos so if you are unable to be there for the live stream, you can watch them at a later date and time. (Click on the title of the broadcast you wish to view as other videos are archived there, too.)

Please forward this e-mail on to any family members or friends who might be interested in viewing this event.

Movie Review: “También la Lluvia” (Even the Rain)

Review by Prakash Anthony Lohale, OP, Socius for Apostolic Life.

Though I am not Tom Condon, nor do I have his renowned experience in writing film reviews, I do want to let the Dominican Family know about this marvelous and very timely movie that has recently come out: “También la Lluvia” (“The rain, too”). The film juxtaposes the social and political situation in colonial America, in the wake of the Spanish conquest and colonization (the period of the first Dominican community, Montesinos, Las Casas, etc) with the “Water wars”—a popular uprising for the protection of water rights in Cochabamba, Bolivia in the years 1999-2000. In other words, both the colonial story and the modern story are based on fact. The movie could not have come at a more symbolic moment—as the Dominican Order celebrates this year the 500th anniversary of the famous sermon preached by the first Dominican community on the island of Hispaniola (Dominican Republic/Haiti today) on the fourth Sunday of Advent, 1511. Read more

“Even the Rain” is available through Netflix for download or DVD rental and Amazon for download.

Call for Papers

What impact does the soul-stirring preaching of Fr. Antonio Montesinos, OP, have on Dominicans in the Americas today, 500 years after that first fire? Does this preaching and the Dominican mission make any difference to our world now? What is the significance of this early Dominican community’s courageous act of speaking the truth to power? For today’s Church? For today’s world?

The Steering Committee of the 500th Anniversary of Dominicans in the Americas encourages historians, theologians, justice promoters and preachers of the Dominican Family to submit articles or papers for publication for the upcoming 500th Anniversary of this preaching which changed the direction of the New World. Themes of the submissions can focus on historical events or persons, current issues of justice, reflections on Dominican life and spirituality. Length of articles is limited to 2,500 words. Suggested questions for reflection following the text for discussion for small groups also welcome.

Submissions should be postmarked by Nov. 15, 2011. Send papers by e-mail or post to: Lsiers6720@aol.com, or Lucianne Siers, OP, 1533 Parker Street, Bronx, NY 10462.

Call for Artists

Artists of all kinds—musicians, painters, poets, dancers, sculptors, photographers, film makers, playwrights and others—are invited to express their ideas in new work that would connect with the current issues of justice particularly focusing on immigration, racism, military spending as well as with the history of the Dominican Order in the Western Hemisphere. Please do not send art work, but only send photographs of art with information regarding the size, medium to Lucianne Siers, OP: Lsiers6720@aol.com, 1533 Parker Street, Bronx, NY 10462.

Journey to Mexico

A Journey of Solidarity to Mexico, Dec. 1–10, 2011 to honor the preaching of our brother, Antonio Montesinos, OP, December 1511 and the first Dominican community in the Americas. Dominican Sisters, Associates, Laity, Friars, Brothers, friends—all are welcome!
A Journey of Solidarity will present dialogues among Mexican and American Dominicans in the work for social justice in the Americas.

For more information contact Sister Kathy Long, OP, kathlong1@juno.com in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico.

Universal Human Rights Conference
500 Year Anniversary of Antonio de Montesinos
Dec. 2-4, 2011, Washington, DC

Working with international partners, Alma College’s Public Affairs Institute and Center for Responsible Leadership, George Mason University’s School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs, and the Osgood Center for International Studies are hosting a conference focused on assessing what has been achieved in 500 years of human rights advocacy. The conference will include Sunday, Dec. 4, the conventionally identified date in 1511 when Antonio de Montesinos delivered a sermon in Santo Domingo calling for reform of Spanish policy toward the indigenous. That sermon launched a Spanish debate about the human rights of the Indians, which in turn contributed to later advocacy of the principle that human rights apply to all people, regardless of nationality. To register, visit www.humanrights500.org. Questions, e-mail Dr. Ed Lorenz at montesinos@alma.edu.

Anniversary Steering Committee: Toni Harris, Chuck Dahm, Mary Sue Kennedy, Margaret Mayce, Dusty Farnan, Trish Buxton and Lucianne Siers.